What is Squint?
Squint is a misalignment of the eye where the two eyes are pointed towards different directions. The misalignment may be constant for a few, while it may be intermittently occurring for some others. The deviation of the eye may be in any direction – inward, outward, upward or downward. If the child is not treated at the appropriate time, a condition called Amblyopia (lazy eyes ) occurs, which eventually leads to permanent loss of vision.
Causes of Squint
- Weakness of the eye muscles or problem with the nerves in the eye muscles
- Your vision can be seriously affected due to cataract, glaucoma, corneal scars, optic nerve disease, refractive errors, tumors of the eye, retinal disease etc.
Symptoms of Squint
- One eye or both eyes point to different directions
- Children can have defective vision in one eye or both eyes
- Children with squint, sometimes close one eye in bright sunlight
- Children sometimes experience double vision or confusion in visualization. Some children tilt or turn their head and face in a particular direction for using their eyes together.
- Squint due to refractive errors are corrected by prescribing suitable spectacles. Amblyopia treated with occlusion therapy.
- Children are treated based upon the improvement in vision by spectacles correction and patching therapy. It may require to continue with the glasses to maintain clarity of vision.
- In this surgery, the muscles are detached from their original insertion and shifted to a different spot. The amount of shift is based on the measurement done with special prisms.
- Stay in the hospital is only for a day.
- Children are treated based upon the improvement in vision by spectacles correction and patching therapy. It may require to continue with the glasses to maintain clarity of vision. After a surgery, patching therapy may be continued for some time. If squint is treated as early as possible, (preferably before 2 years of age), loss if vision can be prevented in children.
- Squint is not a sign of good luck. It affects your child’s vision and appearance.
- As the child grows older, it becomes more difficult to treat squint and regain the lost vision. However, cosmetically straightening the eye is possible at any age.
What Causes Nystagmus?
It may be a sign of another eye problem or medical condition. You may be born with it, or you might develop it later in life. Nystagmus is caused by many different things, including:
- Being passed down from your parents
- Other eye issues, like cataracts or strabismus
- Diseases like stroke, multiple sclerosis, or Meniere’s disease
- Head injuries
- Albinism (lack of skin pigment)
- Inner ear problems
- Certain medications, like lithium or drugs for seizures
- Alcohol or drug use
Sometimes, your doctor may not know what causes it.
What Are the Symptoms of Nystagmus?
Your eyes move without your control. It might be fast, then slow, then fast again. The movement might be in one eye, but it’s usually in both eyes. You may notice that you nod your head or keep it in strange positions. You do that because it helps you focus when you can’t hold your gaze steady. Things look clearer when you tilt or turn your head.
Objects may seem a little blurry to children with nystagmus. But the world doesn’t look shaky to them. It’s different if you develop the condition as an adult. Then the world appears to move a little when you look around.
Nystagmus may also affect your vision. You might have a hard time seeing in the dark, or you may be sensitive to bright light. You may have problems with balance and dizziness. These can be worse if you’re tired or stressed.
Getting a Diagnosis
If you think you or your child may have symptoms of nystagmus, see your eye doctor. They’ll look at the insides of your eyes and test your vision. They’ll also look for other eye problems.
You might get other tests, including:
- Ear exam
- Neurological exam
- Brain MRI
- Brain CT scan
- Recording your eye movement
Your doctor may ask you to spin around in the chair for about 30 seconds, stop, and then try to stare at an object. If you have nystagmus, your eyes will first move slowly in one direction. Then they’ll move quickly the other way.